Sept. 28, 2007
Fitchburg State College's student newspaper
It's a magical time
Jonathan Pendragon is set to share the art of illusion in performance,
during Family Weekend at Fitchburg State College.
By Tim McCarthy
Family Weekend at Fitchburg State
College is going to be enchanted with
a touch of magic, literally.
A show by illusionists the Pendrag-
ons will highlight the two-day extrava-
ganza, which begins Sept. 28 with
fireworks and a parade.
•'This will be our first time per-
forming at Fitchburg. We've performed
in other theaters in Massachusetts, but
we're looking forward to adding this
theater to our repertoire," said Char-
lotte Pendragon. who shares the stage
with her husband, Jonathan. Their
show, "The Ghosts of Broadway," can
be seen Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. in Weston
Going above and beyond merely
pulling rabbits out of hats, the Pen-
dragons have been performing for over
25 years for a variety of audiences,
including heads of state. "What sepa-
rates us from our peers is that Jon . . .
has become the grandmaster of magic,
literally. He gets phone calls from
magicians to help them with their
Continued on Page 2
At SGA, teamwork reigns
holds together with
bonds of friendship
By Megan Benevides
Teamwork seems to be the theme
for the Student Government Associa-
tion this year.
It's certainly true for the executive
board - "the newly elected student-
body president and vice president
have been close friends throughout all
four years of college.
Senior Maria Villena has taken the
reins as president, while Marissa Tor-
res fills the position of vice president.
Their close bond of friendship, they
believe, will help them work together
to create a team and make important staff photo
Seniors Maria Villena, left, and Marissa Torres work together to make a
Continued on Page 2 difference on campus, as leaders in the Student Government Association,
Staff photo by Megan Benevides
A new program will give students
more opportunity to help the
environment by recycling.
By Mike Prescott
Green is a popular hue around the
Fitchburg State College campus. As
one of the school colors, it is seen on
sweatshirts, signs, and sports uniforms.
And this fall, FSC is about to get even
As the national focus shifts toward
environmentally friendly activities, so
has the focus of the Fitchburg State
College administration. Starting in
October, a new campus-wide recycling
initiative will begin, offering students
and faculty numerous opportunities to
recycle throughout their day.
"There is always an incentive to go
green in a facility atmosphere," said
Joe LoBuono, FSC assistant director
of maintenance. "If you look at the
budget, recycling more saves on the
cost of trash removal on a campus this
According to LoBuono, the
anticipates a drop in trash removal
costs of nearly 50 percent after just
one year of full implementation of the
"There will be haul-away costs
associated with the [recycling]
program, but the cut in trash removal
costs should even out the cost of any
program, as well as save us money in
the long run," said LoBuono.
Continued on Page 2
2 ~ Sept. 28, 2007
good to FSC
Continued from Page 1
Currently, Fitchburg State College
utilizes recycling primarily for
"mixed fibers," or newspapers and
magazines. This fall, recycling efforts
are aimed to expand to paper, plastic,
and cardboard, all across the campus.
Though this sounds like an easy and
logical transition, it will require some
major upgrades to existing equipment.
"I am working right now with
Casella Waste Systems Inc. to modify
our compactor and get ready for the
roll-out of the project," said LoBuono.
Campus food service provider
Chartwell's is also working to expand
their existing recycling program as part
of the new initiative.
Elsewhere on campus, there will be
small bins in offices and classrooms,
larger bins in common areas, and
roll-away barrels in the highest traffic
locations. As the demand for recycling
grows, more receptacles will be added,
according to LoBuono.
As for recycling in the residence
halls, student volunteers will expand
existing programs to encourage
recycling of all materials using the
Students and faculty can expect to
see signs posted around' campus, emails
in their inboxes, and other awareness
•, i \ % . Staff photo by Megan Benevides
Fitchburg State College studenlis show their spirit by getting into recycfing. •
Pendragons bring magic to campus
Continued from Page 1
shows," Charlotte Pendragon said in a
recent telephone interview.
"The Ghosts of Broadway" cen-
ters on vignettes taken fi-om popular
Broadway productions such as "Chi-
cago," "Phantom of the Opera," and
"Hamlet," and enchants them with the
magic and stagecraft that have made
the Pendragons famous.
Among the illusions is the Pen-
dragons' world-famous "Metamor-
phosis," in which a bound assistant is
placed within a box and, in the blink
of an eye, swaps places with the magi-
cian standing on the box above. The
trick has long baffled audiences - and,
according to Charlotte Pendragon, it
also confounds many magicians.
"It's really a standard by which
illusionists judge each other," she
explained. "If you perfect the 'Meta-
morphosis,' it reflects your level as a
"It's been an evolution in prog-
ress," she continued. "We're both
gymnasts; we use some of our acrobat-
ic skills to make it faster, shaving off
two to three seconds to about a sec-
ond. Over the years, we've developed
faster techniques. The entire goal is to
make a metamorphosis in the blink of
an eye so I appear to change into Jon.
It's a learning process."
Currently listed in the Guin-
ness Book of World Records for com-
pleting the illusion in just a quarter of
a second, the Pendragons plan to com-
plicate the trick further by performing
a new variation called "Shadow Meta-
"Jon is locked in a trunk," Char-
lotte Pendragon began. "I stand on top
with a cloth, yet you see me through
the cloth as my shadow is reflected.
As I'm dropping it down you see my
shadow, but now Jon has taken my
As a whole, Charlotte Pendragon
said, "Ghosts of Broadway" is "a cool
show, not simply a kiddie show."
"It's a very fiin and enjoyable eve-
ning and also a nice distraction from
Opening for the Pendragons is
comedic ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger.
While the Pendragons show may
be the climax of Family Weekend
2007, many other activities have been
planned to entertain audiences of all
"This year, the students really and
truly have complete control over the
entire weekend," said Shane Franzen,
associate director of student develop-
ment. "It's the students' weekend and
they really wanted to focus in on fami-
lies. They wanted the parents and fam-
ily members to come back and have
this really cool weekend."
The festivities are set to open Sept.
28 at 7 p.m. with a Mardi Gras-themed
parade complete with floats, bands,
and antique cars. "We haven't had a
parade here in about three years, so
the students are really excited," Fran-
zen said. "We're hoping to have some
jazz and blues-style music during the
parade," he added. After the proces-
sion, which starts on North Street in
front of Weston Auditorium, students
and their families will be treated to
the annual fireworks spectacle out on
Elliot Athletics Field at about 8 p.m.,
and conclude the night with an out-
door screening of "Shrek the Third"
at 8:30 p.m.
The following day's events will
begin at 10 a.m. with a women's soc-
cer showdown between FSC and
Worcester State College out on the
Elliot Athletic Fields, pause for a
Tailgate Lunch break provided by
Chartwell's, and then resume with a
1:30 p.m. football game between FSC
and Bridgewater State College. During
the games, families will also be able
to partake in the Fun Fair, an open-air
The Family Weekend parade, fire-
works, and movie screening are fi-ee.
Tickets for the Pendragons' "Ghosts of
Broadway" cost $10 for FSC students;
$ 1 5 for faculty, staff, parents, and
alumni; $20 for the general public and
for all tickets at the door. For more
information, call (978) 665-3163.
Continued from Page 1
improvements needed to Fitchburg
State. Beyond a tight friendship, Ville-
na and Torres are both communication
media majors. Villena feels that this
will help her communicate well with
the student body. "It is easier for me to
talk to people about important issues.
I'm not afraid to talk to students about
what they are having problems with,"
Torres has a minor in business,
which she feels will be useful as
she works to keep the SGA running
smoothly. She considers herself a very
organized person, which should also
serve SGA well. "I am always making
lists," she says.
As president and vice president,
Villena and Torres serve on the execu-
tive board - also known as e-board.
"It is the administrative part of
the coimcil," Villena explains. "On
e-board we discuss what direction we
think SGA should be going in, and
make sure everyone else is on task.
"We are composed of a president,
myself; a vice president, Marissa Tor-
res; a treasnrer, ScotfrP^yfor; a secre-
tary:, Kristen Creamer; dnd the student
trustee, Eric Mayhew. We also help
guide the rest of couricil when they are
lost as far as what to do with in their
Villena is also be in charge of run-
ning weekly meetings, which she said
include reports from e-board members,
classes, commuters' board, the hall
representatives, and committees. "We
have an open gallery for any student to
sit in on the meetings," Villena says,
"and we sometimes have guest speak-
ers that can include anyone from the
head of Chartwell's to the president of
It takes both passion and time to
be an SGA member. Beyond weekly
e-board, class, and government meet-
ings, there are events to plan, office
hours, and committee meetings. Vil-
lena and Torres know they have an
intense year ahead of them.
As president, Villena hopes to
accomplish the goal of creating a
greener campus. Already this year a
recycling program has begun in several
of the dorm buildings. Torres supports
this goal, and also hopes to bring about
greater collaboration among clubs and
Although there is a lot of work
ahead for Villena and Torres, they
believe it will all prove worthwhile
in the end. "The most rewarding part
about SGA is the fact that you know
you are doing something for the stu-
dents," Villena says. "In committee
meetings you are sometimes the only
student voice there. To know that you
were part of something that is going
to change students' lives here at Fitch-
burg is a great feeling."
Sept. 28, 2007 ~ 3
Flu's coming: Give it your best shot
Health experts say
the best defense
By Julie Miller
We've all had it: the itchy, runny nose;
the dreadful, hacking cough; the teary,
bloodshot eyes; and worst of all, the
fever. We all try to avoid it, but we
know it's coming for us sooner or
later. There is no escaping it when
you're trapped in a building occupied
by 300 other infected people.
WTiat is this awfijl plague that
everyone so desperately tries to avoid?
It's the influenza virus, more
commonly known as the flu. This
very contagious disease is the most
unwelcome guest on any college cam-
pus, because it attacks the respiratory
system and leaves students feeling as
though they have been hit by a truck.
"Having the flu makes you feel
icky," says Amanda Roy, a junior at
FSC. "It makes my nose all raw and
I feel ugly, and no matter how many
times I sniffle it doesn't get any better.
"I have to sleep sitting up because
and my head feels like it's going to
explode. All I want to do is sleep."
Andrew Finely, a sophomore, adds,
"When I get the flu I can tell because
I get muscle aches and headaches,
pretty bad ones."
The symptoms of the flu can
include fever, cough, muscle pain,
headache, and weakness. The average
bout with the flu usually lasts only a
few days, even though for the suffer-
ers that seems like a lifetime.
Flu shots are often recommended,
but not everyone is convinced.
Craig Shannon, a junior at FSC,
said, "I don't think I'd bother getting
one. I don't see the necessity."
But Martha Favre, the director of
FSC Student Health Services, urges
students to get vaccinated.
"I would strongly suggest getting
immunized. If students get the flu,
they will miss a week of classes. The
flu generally hits campus around exam
time," Favre said.
The vaccination will be available
on campus sometime in October to
students, faculty and staff, she said,
priced at $10 for students and $15 for
faculty and staff.
"We have purchased 200 doses,
and we get additional doses fi-om the
Board of Health in Fitchburg," Favre
said. Those planning to get immunized
on campus are advised to pay attention
to the video screens all around campus
for updates on when the flu clinic will
be open at FSC.
Wondering what you can do to pro-
tect yourself from catching this nasty
According to the Massachusetts
Department of Health's Public Fact
Sheet, the best option is to get the
There are, however, other precau-
tions to take. Make sure that a lack
of sleep doesn't wear you down, and
always wash your hands since the
virus is spread through the air when
the affected person sneezes, coughs or
even talks. Sharing drinks and kiss-
ing are also common ways for flu to
If, despite your best efforts, the
flu still finds you, seek out medical
care and resign yourself to bed rest to
recover and regain your strength.
Should you have any further ques-
tions or health concerns regarding the
influenza virus, you can contact Fitch-
burg State College's Health Services
department either through their web-
site, http://www.fsc.edu/healthserv/ . or
by phone at (978) 665-3216.
New grading system sets the record straight
Pluses and minuses
add up to
By Mike Prescott
As students began classes this
semester, they were greeted with
new professors, new courses, new
challenges - and even a new grading
After months of open discussion,
the grading structure at Fitchburg State
College has been adjusted to quarter-
"The No. 1 concern [among
students and teachers] was the
inconsistency of the existing grading
policy," said Paul Weizer, a social
science professor and member of the
Academic Quality Committee. "There
were pluses, but no minuses, which
resulted in grade ranges that were too
In previous semesters, a good
student might have earned a grade of
4.0, 3.5, or 3.0, for example. Now, that
student can receive a 4.0, 3.7, 3.5, 3.3,
It was in Spring 2007 that the
Academic Quality Committee -
consisting of three faculty members,
two administrators, and two students
- took the issue up and began serious
A Blackboard site was set up to
gather student and faculty input on the
Staff photo by Megan Benevides
Whether the grade is good or bad, it's more likely to be accurate with the new system of quarter-grade intervals in
place at Fitchburg State College.
grading structure, and the response
was loud and clear: It was time for a
The committee researched the'
grading options used at other state
colleges, including Worcester State, as
well as those used at private Central
Massachusetts colleges such as Holy
Cross in Worcester. They found that
the quarter-grade system was more
prevalent among these colleges, and
decided to move in that direction.
Throughout the process, student
input was highly valued. The proposal
to change the grading system was
referred to the Student Affairs
Committee, which reported back
positively on the proposal.
Now that the new system is
in place, Weizer said, students
will receive grades more closely
tailored to their individual effort and
performance. "The hope is that it
will more accurately reflect student
performance, and address the concerns
of students being placed in grade
categories that they didn't deserve."
4 ~ Sept. 28, 2007
Elegance? Pour it on!
By Brittany Abraham
The word Destare is elegantly
illuminated on two sides of a very
average-looking building on the comer
of Fitchburg's busy Main Street.
The dim lighting shows through a
peninsula of glass, leaving the inside
activities a mystery to those passing
Inside, a sea of buzzing conversa-
tion and the musings of an energetic
jazz band add life to this European-
style martini bar and cafe. Antique
furniture of varying texture and shape
fills nearly half of this spacious estab-
lishment, while a modem marble bar
extends lengthwise down the opposing
Indirect lighting by way of chic
chandeliers and retro hanging lamps
works to set a comfortable yet intimate
It's a Tuesday night and an eclec-
tic crowd, varying decades in age,
has gathered in Fitchburg's newest
Imagined and created by a partner-
ship of three individuals - Chris losua,
Lance Dellogono, and Paul Goguen
- Destare is the embodiment of their
belief that Fitchburg is the place where
an elegant establishment can and will
As described by Mr. losua, "This
area has a huge percentage of commu-
nity members that are unable to pursue
a full, enjoyable evening in this area
due to the lack of places to go, and we
think Destare can be the solution to
Thus far, without any advertising
or marketing besides personal intro-
ductions and word-of-mouth, each
night has been a pleasant surprise
bringing in new, unique clientele, as
well as reoccurring groups that have
dubbed themselves "regulars."
Destare, which is Italian for awak-
ening, was influenced by cafes and
bars encountered throughout the part-
ners' travels - including Europe, South
Africa, and Asia.
Melding atmospheric elements
with drink and food recipes, this
worldly bar works to bring an entire
community together to enjoy the
nightlife. "We want everyone to feel
comfortable here," losua explains.
"We welcome everyone - businesspeo-
ple, FSC students, residents - to come
in and enjoy themselves."
"This place is out of this world,"
Samantha Adelman, a 24-year-old
local, says of Destare.
"I wanted to check it out because
everyone has been raving about it,
and I have been back every Tuesday
The establishment offers live
music, comedy shows, a list of 38 spe-
cialty martinis from bars all over the
world, and decadent gourmet snacks
On a typical night, groups of
50-somethings sip aged cognacs and
chat about business on the couches
directly bordering a group of 20-some-
things enjoying trendy martinis and
The staff, clad in all black and
sporting enthusiastic smiles, mingles
throughout the bar, serving attentively,
chatting amicably, and seeming to
have a good time.
If a pairing of comfort and ele-
gance was Destare's goal, its custom-
ers say it has, thus far, been a success.
Staff photo by Nicoletta Amato
Want to make your study time more effective, and score higher on tests? Look for tips and strategies you can use,
in Issue 3 of the Point on Oct. 12.
to soar past
By Brian Way
While most students at Fitch-
burg State were busy partying as if it
were their jobs on the first weekend
back at college, the students on the
football team were working full force
to begin the season with a victory.
The Fitchburg Falcons played their
opening game of the season against
the Curry Colonials on Sept. 8 at Elliot
Field, and the fans came out to support
them. The Civic Center parking lot
was packed with cars, the stadium was
full of proud parents, shirtless body-
painted students, and rival Curry fans.
The weather was hot - about 90
degrees - and the Curry Colonials
were hot, too. The Colonials won the
Although this was a disappointment
for Falcon fans, the players didn't
seem overly worried.
"It doesn't matter as far as I'm
concemed," said Michael Portrais,
No. 4 comer position. "We played our
best and worked our hardest." Accord-
ing to linebacker Anthony Grassini,
"They were a top-notch team and they
just wore us down; they knew how to
The game ended with a suspension
due to heavy rain and severe lightning
with 5:18 left on the clock.
There was hope in sight for our
Falcons throughout most of the game.
When Curry was up 16-0 after just a
quarter of play, the Falcons jumped
back with two touchdowns, landing the
score at a close 16-14.
The halftime score was 23-14,
Curry still ahead. The Falcons col-
lected themselves in the clubhouse
with chants that could be heard from
the stands. "I think that we knew what
we were in for when we saw them
dominate Worcester, but we surprised
ourselves at how good we were after
halftime," Grassini said. "But they
had good strategy and you can't get
The Colonials jumped ahead even
further in the third quarter with a score
of 30-14. However, the Falcons retali-
ated with another score, bumping them
up another 6 points. The game was
full of ups and downs, but the end was
fatal for the Falcons when the Colo-
nials pushed their score up, leaving it
While the first game of the season
is always one to remember, there are
plenty of games both home and away
yet to come; Falcon fans will have
plenty of chances to cheer for their